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Phuket’s pilot program to reopen Thailand – Interview Bill Barnett | VIDEO

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Phuket’s pilot program to reopen Thailand – Interview Bill Barnett | VIDEO | Thaiger

There’s a lot more of Thailand besides Phuket, but the southern Thai island has received a lot of attention in the past few weeks because of the intention to remove quarantine for vaccinated international arrivals from July this year.

There’s a lot at stake as the rest of Thailand will be watching the pilot program, eager to see it work and applied to the rest of the tourist hot-spots, and then the rest of the country as well.

Bill Barnett, from c9hotelworks.com, is an authority on all things hospitality and tourism around the region, and is also a resident of Phuket. But Tim Newton asks him if the July timeline is realistic and if the ‘sandbox’ proposal is likely to happen.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bob Graham

    Monday, April 5, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    Excellent interview and discussion between the 2 of you , as always . You touched on many of the points and issues that ex pats and Thais have been discussing privately amongst themselves.

    A few more things to consider are the elephants in the room. Is Phuket actually able to procure 900,000 doses of the vaccine in order to have the 70% target vaccinated prior to July 1. ? What happens to the model in the event of another large outbreak in the country? What will be the government’s position in the events that either of the proceeding two events occur or do not occur .
    Always good to take the positive outlook but false expectations and hope could have an adverse effect .

  2. Avatar

    Bob Brown

    Monday, April 5, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    The Covid vaccines (all of them) are NOT a cure as some people seem to think. They are a like the annual influenza A and B vaccines – they only make it less likely a person will become ill.
    CDC : “flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60%”

    The Covid vaccines will be much lower in their protection rates, because Corona viruses are new and the vaccines are untested unlike the flu A and B vaccines that have been developed over decades. Also, Covid vaccines will probably be less effective against the new strains, and any future new strains. It will take many years before Covid vaccines have the efficcay rates of influenza A and B vaccines, and they are at an everage of 50%.

    Sorry – but tourism and world wide travel will be a problem for years, untill the world Governments pull back from all the lockdowns. Perhaps after this initial vaccination campaign they accept that Covid deaths will occur – they cannot be stopped by vaccines (otherwise there would be no annual flus). The current worldwide infection death rate for Covid is just over 2% – whereas the annual influenza infection death rate is on average just under 1%. Perhaps when those numbers start to line up things will become easier – it will be a political decision that will very much depend on the sucess of the vaccines.

  3. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Monday, April 5, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Jolly good.
    But Thailand is not open for business as the title states.

    • Thaiger

      Thaiger

      Monday, April 5, 2021 at 6:18 pm

      It IS open for business and people can come to the country, albeit with some extra paperwork and hassles than before. But it IS open.

  4. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Monday, April 5, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    Interesting if not all that illuminating. So the 16 German tourists who showed up Saturday were actually only 13 and 3 returning Thais. An inauspicious start to say the least. Even so I never really expected much out of the first phase of a shorter quarantine during the low season. The real test will be come July when the quarantine is dropped. Still a lot of questions to be answered.

  5. Avatar

    the man the myth the lengend

    Monday, April 5, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Really another questionable government plan. first of all the visa application on line requires flight numbers and accommodation information that most if not all travelers would have BEFORE have a visa. So obnoxious at times. Do these government officials actually ever travel?

  6. Avatar

    Baroness

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 12:13 am

    Difficult to apply the definition of “open for business” for Thailand.
    You should add to the extra paperwork extra expenses above what people are ready to pay and extra internment time people are not willing to waste.
    If I apply the same requisites for my business opening I better file for bankruptcy instantly and save loosing more money.
    Open for business means to apply all means to attract and retain customers not discourage them to push the front door.

  7. Avatar

    Realist

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 11:21 am

    I think most European people at this moment would already be very grateful if they can go to their own restaurant in their own city. In December 2021, January and February 2022, European people will probably try to ski first in Austria, Switzerland or French. In the summer of 2022, people will go to Turkey, Greece, Ibiza etc., to enjoy the guaranteed hot weather instead of Asia’s rainy season. Then in December 2022, you will see Asia going to get tourists again. So my prediction, another 1,5 years before it’s back to “business”.

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Thailand News Today | Tour bus disaster, Covid infections drop slightly | April 13

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Thailand News Today | Tour bus disaster, Covid infections drop slightly | April 13 | Thaiger

A sad start to Songkran day after 5 people have perished, including 2 children, and another 12 seriously injured after a double-decker interprovincial bus caught fire near Khon Kaen. It was heading to Bangkok. The bus erupted into flames just after midnight on the Mitrapap highway. There were 33 passengers on board. The bus driver was also injured.

965 people have been detected as infected with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. The daily total is the first drop in daily numbers for 13 days. 28,288 people have fully recovered. The total deaths remains at 97 people since the start of the pandemic in Thailand. 6,190 people remain under hospital care or are being monitored.

2 senior police officers in Bangkok’s trendy Thonglor district have been transferred pending an investigation into a Covid-19 cluster linked to pubs and clubs in the area. The superintendent of Thonglor police station and the inspector for suppression affairs were side-lined to the operations centre of the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s 5th Division yesterday.

Despite vaccines being rolled out, the world health organisation is warning that the Covid-19 pandemic has reached a “critical level” in South Asia as infections keep rising. The virus has already taken 2.9 million lives worldwide, infecting 137 million and the WHO says the “trajectory of this pandemic is now growing…exponentially.”

US/Canadian media company Vice has removed Photoshopped photographs of Khmer Rouge victims from its website after a furious backlash. The grim photos, originally taken before the victims were tortured and methodically killed, had been colourised and, in some cases, had smiles added.

The Burmese junta has shut down Wi-Fi, Internet and mobile data to a stage whereby it’s nearly impossible to access online services or data in most parts of the country. In some parts they still allow a short window each day to use the internet.

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Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority announces health and safety regulations

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Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority announces health and safety regulations | Thaiger
Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand says airlines must continue to follow health and safety regulations as the country has seen a 3rd wave of the Covid-19 virus. Its the third time the CAAT have introduced restrictions on in-flight services since airlines were grounded in April last year.

The authority says new guidelines to take effect today include…

• Maintaining social distancing practises on passenger services at all levels of operations, from check-in and boarding and disembarking.

• Passengers are required to wear masks at all times during the flight, while using hand sanitiser and washing hands.

• Food and drinks cannot be served or consumed on board. Crews may offer drinking water to passengers in predetermined social distancing areas in the aircraft.

• Newspapers, magazines, or brochures provided on board are prohibited except for safety cards or pamphlets.

• Pilots are required to wear masks, while all cabin crew must wear both masks and gloves at all times when on duty.

• Flights longer than 90 minutes must set aside seats in the last 2 rows in case someone falls sick on board.

Today, Thailand has reported 965 people as infected with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. The daily total is the first drop in daily numbers for 13 days. 28,288 people have fully recovered. The total deaths remains at 97 people since the start of the pandemic in Thailand. 6,190 people remain under hospital care or are being monitored. 654 of today’s cases are local community infections.

The country recently has seen a 3rd wave of the virus, with Bangkok entertainment venues being considered the epicentre. Thong Lor district in Bangkok has also seen the UK variant B117 in many of its infections. Now, it is the most prominent strain of Covid-19 in the UK.

Studies showed that the B117 strain is more deadly, with 1 study showing deaths from UK variant infections were 30 to 100% higher than earlier variants. The strain also has at least 23 mutations identified so far. However, a new study by The Lancet indicates that even though the strain has a higher reproductive and transmission rate, it is not more severe.

SOURCE: TAT News

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Thailand looks at proposal to make it easier for expats and long-termers

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Thailand looks at proposal to make it easier for expats and long-termers | Thaiger
Stock photo via Thailand Work Permit & Visa

Thailand is looking to make it easier for expats and long-term visa holders to stay in the country. The Immigration Bureau is hoping to boost investments and the economy once the pandemic is over. The proposed changes could do away with 90 day reporting requirements which have been well-received by expats.

Recently, the online website to report 90 day check-ins has been down, citing maintenance issues. Hotel staff have also been dealing with the TM-30 reporting system being down. Chayotid Kridakorn, a former head of JP Morgan Securities Thailand, told the Bangkok Post that immigration hoops are a key pain point for foreigners working in Thailand.

“We want to make it easier for foreigners to live and work in Thailand.”

Meanwhile, plans to help Thailand recover economically have been detailed in a framework to be proposed to the government’s economic panel in the next month. Improvements to immigration regulations, work permits for foreign experts, and visa applications are on the framework list. Relaxing location reporting requirements for foreign workers which is done through the 90 day reporting, is also slated to be amended.

The framework also will include inducements for foreign investors such as corporate income-tax cuts, relaxed property-holding rules and incentives for retirees and start-up companies. An adviser to Thailand’s Deputy PM, says he aims to bring in 1 million retirees or pensioners over the next few years. He says expats could collectively contribute as much as 1.2 trillion baht to the economy each year. But Thailand’s gross domestic product growth won’t return to pre-Covid levels until the 3rd quarter of 2022, according to the Bank of Thailand.

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